Normal life has resumed in Azad Kashmir, but citizens continue to face significant challenges due to the ongoing suspension of internet services.

The disruption has caused widespread inconvenience, affecting communication, business operations, and access to essential information.

Internet service was first suspended on Sunday, May 12, following a protest led by the Joint Action Committee. The protest, which started on May 11 and saw substantial public participation, prompted this action.

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After the government agreed to the protesters’ demands on May 13, internet service was briefly restored. However, after a deadly clash between paramilitary Rangers and local youth in Muzaffarabad, resulting in the deaths of three young men, the situation escalated, leading to another suspension of internet service. According to NetBlocks, an internet observatory organization, “Network data show that the internet disruption in Azad Kashmir, Pakistan, is ongoing as authorities crack down on protests amid reports of rising casualties; service was briefly restored during negotiations on Monday but shut down again after deadly clashes.”

Funeral prayers for the youths who died in the firing were held in Muzaffarabad yesterday. After the funeral, protesters peacefully dispersed to their respective areas. However, frustration persists among citizens due to the ongoing internet blackout.

When approached for comment, the spokesperson for the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) did not respond.

However, sources from the PTA indicated that the decision to suspend internet service was made by the Ministry of Interior at the request of the Azad Kashmir government due to security concerns. Any updates on the restoration timeline will be provided by the Azad Kashmir government or the Ministry of Interior.

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